Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week 18 - Ariana

I was away the last week and a half and took another break from the Iyengar sequences. I did continue with my own practice. I felt that I needed sun salutations so I started the day with 10 sun salutations. On the first one my spine was stiff and sore. By the 10th it was supple and the poses flowed. It felt wonderful.

I have been told by a few Iyengar teachers that Iyengar classes typically do not include the sun salutations. But in the appendix of Light on Yoga Mr. Iyengar mentions them at the end of Course I. He states: "those who wish to prostrate to the sun (suryanamaskar) and to develop the arms and chest can do the following asanas in sequence..."

He suggests an 8-step sequence:
1. Tadasana 2. Uttanasana 3. Jump to Chaturanga 4. Urdvha Mukha Svanasana 5. Chaturanga
6. Adho Mukha Svanasana 7. Uttanasana 8. Tadasana.
This is different from the one I practice. There is no mention of Utthita Hastasana or Ardha Uttanasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana follows a second Chaturanga.

After this break I enjoyed returning to Mr. Iyengar's sequence. Practice felt like play. I was moving in and out of poses smoothly and quickly. My body is especially limber because of the heat.

While I was retaining the breath in Mahamudra I had a sudden rise of prana or energy up to my third eye area and it radiated out from there. Each time I did the retention I had this sensation but not as intense as the first one. I did not feel that I was getting this pose prior to today. I am still not sure how to do it.

Then while I was retaining the breath while in Siddhasana I felt the sensation in the third eye area again. I sat with it and enjoyed being in this space. I held it for longer than usual. It felt vast, spacious, endless and comforting. I was a little bit rushed so I did not experiment with it as long as I would have liked.

These words entered my mind when I finished the sequence: Thank you for this practice.

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